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1.  Birth attendance and magnitude of obstetric complications in Western Kenya: a retrospective case–control study 
Skilled birth attendance is critical in the provision of child birth related services. Yet, literature is scanty on the outcomes of child birth related complications in situations where majority of women deliver under the care of non-skilled birth attendants compared to those who are assisted by skilled providers. The study sought to assess the nature of childbirth related complications among the skilled and the non-skilled birth attendants in Western Kenya.
A case–control study was conducted among women aged 15–49 years at the household. Controls were individually matched to cases on the basis of age and socio-economic status. A total of 294 cases and 291 controls were interviewed. Data were collected on various demographic and socio-economic characteristics and women’s perception on the quality of care. All independent variables were analysed initially in bivariate models and those that were significantly associated with obstetric complications were included in multiple logistic regression model in order to control for confounding factors. Odds ratios (ORs), with 95% confidence intervals, were computed to show the association between the occurrence, magnitude and the extent to which child birth related complications were managed.
Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the cases and controls were similar. About 52% of the deliveries were assisted by skilled birth attendants while non-skilled providers attended to 48% of them. The odds of the occurrence of obstetric complications were greater among the women who were attended to by skilled providers in health facilities: adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.32 (CI 0.95, 1.84) than among those who were assisted by unskilled birth attendants, AOR 0.76 (CI 0.55, 1.06). Undignified care, high delivery and transport costs and fear of hospital procedures such as HIV tests and mishandling of the placenta were cited as some of the barriers to facility deliveries.
Skilled birth attendants in facilities were associated with higher odds of the occurrence of obstetric complications compared to deliveries that were assisted by non-skilled attendants at home. Women cited many barriers which need to be addressed in order to improve their access to skilled providers for delivery and in managing obstetric complications.
PMCID: PMC4177247  PMID: 25201072
Birth attendance; Child birth related complications; Risk factors; Postpartum women; Community level; Skilled attendants; Unskilled attendants; Kenya
2.  Axium MicroFX Coil for the Completing Endovascular Aneurysm Surgery Study (ACCESS) 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2012;18(2):200-207.
Recanalization of previously coiled aneurysms remains a major drawback of endovascular aneurysm therapy. We performed a prospective single arm trial to provide early initial data regarding the safety and angiographic durability of a new coil technology, the Axium MicroFX Polyglycolic/polylactic acid (PGLA) coil, which was designed to lower recanalization rates.
Fifteen patients (16 aneurysms) were prospectively enrolled. Demographic and peri-procedural data were collected. Angiographic images of the initial coil embolization and three to six month follow-up angiographic images underwent blinded evaluation.
Seven (47%) SAH and eight (53%) elective patients were enrolled. Blinded evaluation of the initial embolization demonstrated that 5/16 (31%) aneurysms achieved Raymond grade 1, 5/16 (31%) grade 2 and 6/16 (38%) grade 3. Three to six month angiography was obtained in 12/15 patients (80%); two patients expired (1 SAH, 1 elective) and one was lost to follow-up (SAH). All patients who underwent follow-up angiography had a mRS ≤1. Blinded evaluation of embolization demonstrated 7/13 aneurysms (54%) improved in Raymond grading, five (38%) were stable and one aneurysm (8%) worsened. One patient developed an asymptomatic peri-aneurysmal parent vessel stenosis.
Axium MicroFX coils appear to be safe, though the small number of patients in this series obviates comparative analysis with other series. Further studies are needed with more patients to compare the angiographic durability of Axium MicroFX coils to other coils.
PMCID: PMC3380400  PMID: 22681737
coiling, PGLA, safety, durability, Raymond grade, recanalization, Axium MicroFX
4.  Improved Dental Adhesive Formulations Based on Reactive Nanogel Additives 
Journal of Dental Research  2012;91(2):179-184.
Current challenges in adhesive dentistry include over-hydrophilic bonding formulations, which facilitate water percolation through the hybrid layer and result in unreliable bonded interfaces. This study introduces nanogel-modified adhesives as a way to control the material’s hydrophobic character without changing the basic monomer formulation (keeping water-chasing capacity and operatory techniques unaltered). Nanogel additives of varied hydrophobicity were synthesized in solution, rendering 10- to 100-nm-sized particles. A model BisGMA/HEMA solvated adhesive was prepared (control), to which reactive nanogels were added. The increase in adhesive viscosity did not impair solvent removal by air-thinning. The degree of conversion in the adhesive was similar between control and nanogel-modified materials, while the bulk dry and, particularly, the wet mechanical properties were significantly improved through nanogel-based network reinforcement and reduced water solubility. As preliminary validation of this approach, short-term micro-tensile bond strengths to acid-etched and primed dentin were significantly enhanced by nanogel inclusion in the adhesive resins.
PMCID: PMC3261118  PMID: 22019910
adhesives; polymers; restorative dentistry; materials science(s); water; nanoparticles
5.  Corticosteroid responsiveness and clinical characteristics in childhood difficult asthma 
The European respiratory journal  2009;34(5):1052-1059.
This study describes the clinical characteristics and corticosteroid responsiveness of children with difficult asthma (DA). We hypothesised that complete corticosteroid responsiveness (defined as improved symptoms, normal spirometry, normal exhaled nitric oxide fraction (FeNO) and no bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR <12%)) is uncommon in paediatric DA.
We report on 102 children, mean±SD age 11.6±2.8 yrs, with DA in a cross-sectional study. 89 children underwent spirometry, BDR and FeNO before and after 2 weeks of systemic corticosteroids (corticosteroid response study). Bronchoscopy was performed after the corticosteroid trial.
Of the 102 patients in the cross-sectional study, 88 (86%) were atopic, 60 (59%) were male and 52 (51%) had additional or alternative diagnoses. Out of the 81 patients in the corticosteroid response study, nine (11%) were complete responders. Of the 75 patients with symptom data available, 37 (49%) responded symptomatically, which was less likely if there were smokers in the home (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.02–0.82). Of the 75 patients with available spirometry data, 35 (46%) had normal spirometry, with associations being BAL eosinophilia (OR 5.43, 95% CI 1.13–26.07) and high baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02–1.12). Of these 75 patients, BDR data were available in 64, of whom 36 (56%) had <12% BDR. FeNO data was available in 70 patients, of whom 53 (75%) had normal FeNO. Airflow limitation data was available in 75 patients, of whom 17 (26%) had persistent airflow limitation, which was associated with low baseline FEV1 (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.90–0.97).
Only 11% of DA children exhibited complete corticosteroid responsiveness. The rarity of complete corticosteroid responsiveness suggests alternative therapies are needed for children with DA.
PMCID: PMC3471127  PMID: 19541710
Corticosteroid responsiveness; difficult asthma; eosinophil; nitric oxide; paediatric asthma
6.  Distinct regulation of c-myb gene expression by HoxA9, Meis1 and Pbx proteins in normal hematopoietic progenitors and transformed myeloid cells 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(6):e76-.
The proto-oncogenic protein c-Myb is an essential regulator of hematopoiesis and is frequently deregulated in hematological diseases such as lymphoma and leukemia. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying the aberrant expression of c-Myb in myeloid leukemia, we analyzed and compared c-myb gene transcriptional regulation using two cell lines modeling normal hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) and transformed myelomonocytic blasts. We report that the transcription factors HoxA9, Meis1, Pbx1 and Pbx2 bind in vivo to the c-myb locus and maintain its expression through different mechanisms in HPCs and leukemic cells. Our analysis also points to a critical role for Pbx2 in deregulating c-myb expression in murine myeloid cells cotransformed by the cooperative activity of HoxA9 and Meis1. This effect is associated with an intronic positioning of epigenetic marks and RNA polymerase II binding in the orthologous region of a previously described alternative promoter for c-myb. Taken together, our results could provide a first hint to explain the abnormal expression of c-myb in leukemic cells.
PMCID: PMC3389162  PMID: 22829978
c-myb; hematopoietic progenitors; myeloid leukemia; Hox and TALE proteins
7.  Characteristics of a Widespread Community Cluster of H275Y Oseltamivir-Resistant A(H1N1)pdm09 Influenza in Australia 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(2):148-157.
Background. Oseltamivir resistance in A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza is rare, particularly in untreated community cases. Sustained community transmission has not previously been reported.
Methods. Influenza specimens from the Asia–Pacific region were collected through sentinel surveillance, hospital, and general practitioner networks. Clinical and epidemiological information was collected on patients infected with oseltamivir-resistant viruses.
Results. Twenty-nine (15%) of 191 A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses collected between May and September 2011 from Hunter New England (HNE), Australia, contained the H275Y neuraminidase substitution responsible for oseltamivir resistance. Only 1 patient had received oseltamivir before specimen collection. The resistant strains were genetically very closely related, suggesting the spread of a single variant. Ninety percent of cases lived within 50 kilometers. Three genetically similar oseltamivir-resistant variants were detected outside of HNE, including 1 strain from Perth, approximately 4000 kilometers away. Computational analysis predicted that neuraminidase substitutions V241I, N369K, and N386S in these viruses may offset the destabilizing effect of the H275Y substitution.
Conclusions This cluster represents the first widespread community transmission of H275Y oseltamivir-resistant A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza. These cases and data on potential permissive mutations suggest that currently circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses retain viral fitness in the presence of the H275Y mutation and that widespread emergence of oseltamivir-resistant strains may now be more likely.
PMCID: PMC3379839  PMID: 22561367
8.  Early pyrexia after endovascular aneurysm repair: are cultures needed? 
The post-implantation syndrome after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is increasingly recognised. However, when non-vascular trainees are responsible for the care of these patients out of hours, many are investigated if pyrexial. This study assesses the role of microbiological investigations in pyrexia after endovascular aneurysm repair.
The notes of 75 EVAR patients were reviewed retrospectively. The incidence of postoperative pyrexia and infective complications were calculated and the result of any cultures obtained.
Overall, 58 (77.3%) patients were pyrexial with 48 h of stent insertion. Twenty-four had blood cultures and 12 had urine cultures taken within 48 h of surgery. All of these cultures were negative. However, of those with a pyrexia after 48 h, one of nine blood cultures and two of 11 urine cultures grew organisms. Five pyrexial patients and one apyrexial patient developed a wound infection (a non-significant difference, P = 1.00).
Pyrexia within 48 h of EVAR is common. Microbiological investigation in the first 48 h in these patients is unrewarding. After 48 h, cultures are more likely to show growth. Although each patient must be assessed clinically for signs of sepsis, blood and urine cultures within 48 h of EVAR are generally unnecessary.
PMCID: PMC3293302  PMID: 21073819
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR); Pyrexia; Culture; Infection
9.  Artefactual limitations of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of recoarctation of the aorta 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr2006097220.
PMCID: PMC3105976  PMID: 21687149
10.  Characteristics, immunological response & treatment outcomes of HIV-2 compared with HIV-1 & dual infections (HIV 1/ 2) in Mumbai 
Background & objectives:
Information available on HIV-2 and dual infection (HIV-1/2) is limited. This study was carried out among HIV positive individuals in an urban referral clinic in Khar, Mumbai, India, to report on relative proportions of HIV-1, HIV-2 and HIV-1/2 and baseline characteristics, response to and outcomes on antiretroviral treatment (ART).
Retrospective analysis of programme data (May 2006-May 2009) at Khar HIV/AIDS clinic at Mumbai, India was done. Three test algorithm was used to diagnose HIV-1 and -2 infection. Standard ART was given to infected individuals. Information was collected on standardized forms.
A total of 524 individuals (male=51%; median age=37 yr) were included in the analysis over a 3 year period (2006-2009) - 489 (93%) with HIV-1, 28 (6%) with HIV-2 and 7(1%) with dual HIV-1/2 infection. HIV-2 individuals were significantly older than HIV-1 individuals (P<0.001). A significantly higher proportion of HIV-2 patients and those with dual infections had CD4 counts <200 cells/µl compared to HIV-1. HIV-2 individuals were more likely to present in WHO Clinical Stage 4. Of the 443 patients who were started on ART, 358 (81%) were still alive and on ART, 38 (8.5%) died and 3 were transferred out. CD4 count recovery at 6 and 12 months was satisfactory for HIV-1 and HIV-2 patients on protease inhibitor based regimens while this was significantly lower in HIV-2 individuals receiving 3 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Interpretation & conclusions:
In an urban HIV clinic in Mumbai, India, HIV-2 and dual infections are not uncommon. Adaptation of the current national diagnostic and management protocols to include discriminatory testing for HIV types and providing access to appropriate and effective ART regimens will prevent the development of viral resistance and preserve future therapeutic options.
PMCID: PMC3102455  PMID: 21245615
ART; HIV-1; HIV-2; Mumbai; treatment outcomes
11.  Histological confirmation of complete endothelialisation of a surgically removed Amplatzer ASD occluder 
Heart  2006;92(12):1723.
PMCID: PMC1861292  PMID: 17105877
Images in cardiology
12.  Replication profile of PCDH11X and PCDH11Y, a gene pair located in the non-pseudoautosomal homologous region Xq21.3/Yp11.2 
Chromosome Research  2007;15(4):485-498.
In order to investigate the replication timing properties of PCDH11X and PCDH11Y, a pair of protocadherin genes located in the hominid-specific non-pseudoautosomal homologous region Xq21.3/Yp11.2, we conducted a FISH-based comparative study in different human and non-human primate (Gorilla gorilla) cell types. The replication profiles of three genes from different regions of chromosome X (ZFX, XIST and ATRX) were used as terms of reference. Particular emphasis was given to the evaluation of allelic replication asynchrony in relation to the inactivation status of each gene. The human cell types analysed include neuronal cells and ICF syndrome cells, considered to be a model system for the study of X inactivation. PCDH11 appeared to be generally characterized by replication asynchrony in both male and female cells, and no significant differences were observed between human and gorilla, in which this gene lacks X-Y homologous status. However, in differentiated human neuroblastoma and cerebral cortical cells PCDH11X replication profile showed a significant shift towards allelic synchrony. Our data are relevant to the complex relationship between X-inactivation, as a chromosome-wide phenomenon, and asynchrony of replication and expression status of single genes on chromosome X.
PMCID: PMC2779385  PMID: 17671842
PCDH11X/Y; replication asynchrony; replication timing; X-inactivation; Xq21.3/Yp11.2 homology block
13.  The logic of comparing international terrorism with other causes of injury 
Injury Prevention  2006;12(4):272.
PMCID: PMC2586793  PMID: 16887953
terrorism; road crash mortality
14.  Climate change control and injury prevention: more win‐win solutions 
Injury Prevention  2006;12(2):135.
PMCID: PMC2564443  PMID: 16595432
climate change; fuel
15.  Deaths from international terrorism compared with road crash deaths in OECD countries 
Injury Prevention  2005;11(6):332-333.
Methods: Data on deaths from international terrorism (US State Department database) were collated (1994–2003) and compared to the road injury deaths (year 2000 and 2001 data) from the OECD International Road Transport Accident Database.
Results: In the 29 OECD countries for which comparable data were available, the annual average death rate from road injury was approximately 390 times that from international terrorism. The ratio of annual road to international terrorism deaths (averaged over 10 years) was lowest for the United States at 142 times. In 2001, road crash deaths in the US were equal to those from a September 11 attack every 26 days.
Conclusions: There is a large difference in the magnitude of these two causes of deaths from injury. Policy makers need to be aware of this when allocating resources to preventing these two avoidable causes of mortality.
PMCID: PMC1730293  PMID: 16326764
16.  The effectiveness of television advertising campaigns on generating calls to a national Quitline by Māori 
Tobacco Control  2005;14(4):284-286.
Methods: Monthly Quitline call data and calls within one hour of a television commercial (TVC) being shown were analysed for the 2002–2003 period. Data on target audience rating points (TARPs) and expenditure on TVCs were also used (n = 2319 TVC placements).
Results: Māori were found to register with the Quitline at higher rates during the most intense six campaign months (15% more registrations compared to less intense months). The most effective campaign generated 115 calls per 100 TARPs by Māori callers within one hour of TVC airing (the "Every cigarette" campaign). A more Māori orientated campaign with both health and cultural themes generated 91 calls per 100 TARPs from Māori callers. For these two campaigns combined, the advertising cost per new registration with the Quitline by a Māori caller was $NZ30–48. Two second hand smoke campaigns that did not show the Quitline number were much less effective at 25 and 45 calls per 100 TARPs.
Conclusions: These television advertising campaigns were effective and cost effective in generating calls to a national Quitline by Māori. Health authorities should continue to explore the use of both "threat appeal" style media campaigns and culturally appropriate campaigns to support Quitline use by indigenous peoples.
PMCID: PMC1748067  PMID: 16046693
17.  New smoke-free environments legislation stimulates calls to a national Quitline 
Tobacco Control  2005;14(4):287-288.
PMCID: PMC1748053  PMID: 16046694
19.  A model for the spread and control of pandemic influenza in an isolated geographical region 
In the event of an influenza pandemic, the most probable way in which the virus would be introduced to an isolated geographical area is by an infected traveller. We use a mathematical model, structured on the location at which infection occurs and based on published parameters for influenza, to describe an epidemic in a community of one million people. The model is then modified to reflect a variety of control strategies based on social distancing measures, targeted antiviral treatment and antiviral prophylaxis and home quarantine, and the effectiveness of the strategies is compared. The results suggest that the only single strategy that would be successful in preventing an epidemic (with R0=2.0) is targeted antiviral treatment and prophylaxis, and that closing schools combined with either closing work places or home quarantine would only prevent such an epidemic if these strategies were combined with a modest level of antiviral coverage.
PMCID: PMC2359860  PMID: 17251145
mathematical epidemiology; infectious diseases; exotic infections; pandemic influenza
22.  How much downside? Quantifying the relative harm from tobacco taxation 
Objective: To estimate the loss of life expectancy attributable to tobacco taxation (via financial hardship and flow-on health effect) in New Zealand.
Design: Data were used on the gradients in life expectancy and smoking by neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation and survey data on tobacco expenditure. Three estimates were modelled of the percentage of the crude association of neighbourhood deprivation with life expectancy that might be mediated via financial hardship: 100%, 50%, and 25% (best estimate). From this information the impact of tobacco taxation on life expectancy was estimated.
Main results: For the total population, the estimated loss of life expectancy due to tobacco tax ranged from 0.005 years to 0.027 years. For people living in the most deprived 30% of neighbourhoods, the range was 0.009 to 0.044 years (that is, 3 to 16 days of lost life expectancy). For the total population the loss of life expectancy attributable to tobacco tax ranged from 119 to 460 times less than that attributable to deprivation. The loss of life expectancy attributable to tobacco tax was 42 to 257 times less than that attributable to smoking.
Conclusions: The estimated harm to life expectancy from tobacco taxation (via financial hardship) is orders of magnitude smaller than the harm from smoking. Although the analyses involve a number of simplistic assumptions, this conclusion is likely to be robust. Policy makers should be reassured that tobacco taxation is likely to be achieving far more benefit than harm in the general population and in socioeconomically deprived populations.
PMCID: PMC1732801  PMID: 15143110
23.  The decline of smoking in British portraiture 
Tobacco Control  2004;13(1):3-5.
Methods: A compact disc produced by the National Portrait Gallery in London, UK, was systematically searched for artworks produced in the years 1950 to 1999. A "smoking portrayal" in an artwork was defined as having a cigarette, cigar or pipe in the mouth or hand of a named individual.
Results: Out of 1063 artworks included in the analysis, 53 portrayed smoking by identifiable individuals (5.0%). The rate of portrayal was highest in the 1950s (10%) and 1960s (11%) and then declined sharply thereafter (p value for trend < 0.00001). Smoking virtually disappeared from portraiture in the 1990s (at 0.6%). The median age of the smokers portrayed was significantly higher in the 1970 to 1999 period when compared to the 1950 to 1969 period.
Conclusions: The decline of smoking in this collection of portraiture is consistent with the decline in smoking in the UK over these decades, but contrasts with trends for increasing smoking portrayal described elsewhere for film and television.
PMCID: PMC1747826  PMID: 14985574
24.  Cough frequency in children with stable asthma: correlation with lung function, exhaled nitric oxide, and sputum eosinophil count 
Thorax  2003;58(11):974-978.
Methods: Thirty two children of median age 12.0 years (interquartile range (IQR) 9.5–13.4) with stable asthma were recruited. They underwent spirometric testing, exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) measurement, sputum induction for differential cell count, and ambulatory cough monitoring over 17 hours and 40 minutes. Coughing episodes were counted both as individual spikes and as clusters.
Results: Complete cough frequency data were available in 29 children (90%) and their median forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and eNO were 88.5% (IQR 79.5–98) and 23.9 ppb (IQR 11.4–41.5), respectively. The median number of cough episodes was 14 (IQR 7.0–24.0) which was significantly higher than that of normal children (6.7 (IQR 4.1–10.5), p<0.001). Sputum induction was successful in 61% of the subjects; the median induced sputum eosinophil count was 0.05% (IQR 0–9.0). Cough frequency was found to have a significant positive correlation with eNO (Spearman's r =0.781, p<0.001) but not with FEV1 or sputum eosinophil count (r =-0.270, p=0.157; r =0.173, p=0.508, respectively).
Conclusions: Children with stable asthma have increased cough frequency compared with normal controls and cough frequency was greater during the day than at night. Cough may be a more sensitive marker of airway inflammation than simple spirometry.
PMCID: PMC1746522  PMID: 14586052
25.  Homeopathy in childhood asthma 
Thorax  2003;58(9):826-828.
PMCID: PMC1746788  PMID: 12947153

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